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New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms, but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy. National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new digital technologies. Respect for individuals' autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. EFF fights in the courts and Congress to extend your privacy rights into the digital world, and works with partners around the globe to support the development of privacy-protecting technologies.

Your cell phone helps you keep in touch with friends and family, but it also makes it easier for security agencies to track your location.

Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem a secret between you and your search engine, but companies like Google are creating a treasure trove of personal information by logging your online activities, and making it potentially available to any party wielding enough cash or a subpoena.

And the next time you try to board a plane, watch out—you might be turned away after being mistakenly placed on a government watch list, or be forced to open your email in the security line.

Several governments have also chosen to use malware to engage in extra-legal spying or system sabotage for dissidents or non-citizens, all in the name of “national security.”

As privacy needs evolve, so too should our regulatory regimes. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices. Above all, we need to respect the rights of autonomy, anonymity, association, and expression that privacy makes possible, while also taking into account legitimate law enforcement concerns.

Read our work on privacy issues below, and join EFF to help support our efforts.

For information about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States check out EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense project.

Privacy Highlights

NSA Spying

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since...

Privacy Updates

Days of an Unencrypted Internet Are Coming to an End

"There has been a crazy chicken-and-egg problem holding up the deployment of secure encryption on the web," said Peter Eckersley, chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founder of the Let's Encrypt project. "Browsers tried to protect users by blocking insecure parts of secure HTTPS pages, but that...

Allo, privacy, are you there? Google keeps your messages forever

But all this user choice isn't necessarily a good thing, said Eva Galperin, a global policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation , which advocates for online privacy. In apps that let users switch between private and less-private modes, users either choose the wrong mode or mistakenly believe the whole...

Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, EFF

Interview : Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, EFF The Bill of Rights is the most important part of the Constitution for individuals and is just as important to technology companies. Much of the precedent surrounding the Bill of Rights was established in the mid-20th century, prior to the introduction of most...

Denver police spent $30K on social media surveillance tools in May

In a statement, Attorney Stephanie Lacambra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) described the use of social media monitoring by police departments as “incredibly troubling for the preservation of individual privacy.” “I often run into the widespread misperception that ‘because I’m not doing anything wrong,’ or ‘I have nothing to...


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